Lead paint chips – How to remove this unwanted guest from your home

Lead is a toxic substance which is present abundantly in our environment. Due to its stabilizing properties, lead is mixed with a number of products used in our households such as paint, ink, crayons, chalk, crystal, glass and plastic.

Lead often leaches out of the products in which it is added. Pregnant women and young babies are more susceptible to lead indigestion. Toddlers and babies have a habit of putting things like batteries, crayons, pens in their mouths. Babies like to suck on objects with lead in them because it is sweet in taste. If consumed in significant quantities lead can lead to brain damage, seizures, coma and even death.

If you have recently renovated your house or built a new one, you may want to know how to clean up lead paint chips before moving your family into the house. You will need to buy a few supplies such as gloves, towels, bin bags, wipes, phosphate-rich detergent, and a mop.  You may begin the cleaning process by wiping and mopping the floors with phosphate-rich detergent and then drying them with a towel.

The next step is to throw away all the wipes and towels that were used in this process. You will need to use a HEPA filter vacuum for rest of the cleaning. Remember a regular vacuum is not recommended as it will not pick up the lead dust or particles. Also, keep in mind not to empty the vacuum bag inside the house if it gets filled up. You will need to vacuum everything from floors, windows, furnishings, etc.

Keep a spray bottle with phosphate-rich detergent mixed with water solution in it and spray everything lightly as you go along. This will completely get rid of any lead particles that were missed.

Once you have finished cleaning the house, you will need to change your clothes and put them in the laundry.

In order to get rid of paint chips from your clothes, it is recommended to set the wash at the highest temperature and wash with phosphate-rich detergent. After the clothes are cleaned, remove them from the machine and rinse the machine on the hottest temperature with phosphate detergent to prevent cross-contamination.

To learn more about cleaning up lead paint chips click this link.